I knew going into this book that the romance would not be a central feature, because that was the case with Deadly Dreams. But I didn’t expect it to be even more lacking than it was the last time. I was really looking forward to getting to know the Mindhunters boss, Adam Raiker, and watching him fall in love. But I ended the book feeling like I still didn’t know him very well and that he never had much of a romance.
The suspense aspect of the book was really well done. It wasn’t as fast paced and action filled as I personally prefer, but I imagine it reflects actual police work and crime solving more accurately. It was filled with procedure and small details that aren’t exactly exciting, but are very necessary. Reports are filed nightly and the investigators’ actions are always checked by what they are and are not given permission to do by the Assistant Director. Adam is able to get around this more often than Jaid and Shepherd are, but even he has to be very careful about what he does, so as not to give the Assistant Director an excuse to kick him off the case.
I thought I knew who the killer was quite a few times, but something else would always crop up to change my mind and make me guess someone else. I did guess who the killer was, but I had moved past that person and on to a new one, so I suppose it doesn’t technically count. I liked the grisly nature of the case and trying to solve it alongside the characters, but at times I felt a little bored. But that was because of the focus on the procedural process instead of the action. I think if you’re more of a fan of that than I am then you won’t have the same problem.
I was disappointed in the lack of romance in the last book, but I liked that the author showed us the characters’ world outside of the case. I felt that those details were lacking in this book. We saw Jaid call her kid a few times and try to juggle babysitting, but those details felt hollow and lacking any real depth. I never felt I got to know Jaid or Adam very well, which is a shame because I would think that a man who could survive so many assassination attempts, and still get up every morning without fear, is a very fascinating man indeed. And this is a second-chance-romance where one side was very unwilling to break up. Where is the emotion? Where is tension? There was none, and I was a tad bitter over the lack.
I was more forgiving of the lack of romance in the last book, Deadly Dreams, but since this one had even less than that, I feel I have the right to gripe. Why is this billed as a Romantic Suspense if no time is spent developing the characters or the romance? I’ve heard Romance referred to as an emotional voyeur’s paradise, and I can’t say I’d argue that description. I want to know this hero and heroine inside and out and feel invested in their relationship. I want to understand why they are behaving in certain ways without it having to be spelled out to me. I want development and tension and intensity. I just want a Romance, people! And I want all that while still having a banging suspense plot. It’s why I picked up a book in the genre, after all.
The lack of character depth made me feel a bit like I was watching a movie instead of reading a book. I go into a movie knowing that I am not going to get any personal insight into a character—unless they’re narrating it, of course. I know that the only depth I’ll get is the kind that I am shown through their actions and other characters’ comments about them. But that’s okay, because I knew that going in. It’s all about expectations. I expect more than that when I read a book. Especially when I don’t have any vocal inflections or facial expressions to analyze, like I would in a movie. I just have these words that are supposed to suck me in and make me a part of the world. You can’t just say
He hadn’t made a move since that was less than circumspect. But there was a renewed awareness between them. A current that snapped and sparked to life at the oddest moments. She’d intercepted a couple odd looks from Shepherd lately, as if he, too, had picked up on it.
and leave it at that. Why didn’t you show me these glances? How come another character has picked up on it when I have seen nothing to indicate this? I need to be shown, not just told.
I think that the author does a good job with the suspense aspect of the book and that the Suspense genre is really where the book belongs, not the Romantic Suspense one. I can’t see myself picking up any more books by this author, though, because I look for more of a focus on the romance than Brant seems to prefer to write.
“You didn’t lose me, Adam. You pushed me away. There’s a difference between the tragedies that befall us and the ones we bring on ourselves.”